American Sikhs are often subjected to discrimination and prejudice mostly due to a lack of understanding about their faith. This new ad campaign by advocacy group ‘We Are Sikhs’ aims to tackle such treatment by spreading awareness of the community and their beliefs.
‘We Are Sikhs, get to know us,’ is the message behind the new ad campaign by American Sikh advocacy group We Are Sikhs, which aims to tackle hate crime and spread awareness about the faith in the US.
The powerful new ad called ‘Who We Are’ was created by The National Sikh Campaign and urges American citizens to get to know the Sikh community and what it believes is an attempt to put an end to the hate crime and discrimination that the community experiences.
‘If somebody is not sure, it’s great to just ask. I want people to know about who I am and why I wear the turban and keep the beard,” urges a Sikh man in the video.
The video features five American Sikhs, each discussing what being a Sikh means and emphasises the point that Sikh history and the history of the U.S. have many parallels and each hold values that directly correspond with the other.
‘We are Sikhs’ is a community of American Sikhs with a mission to educate American citizens about their peaceful, progressive, and tolerant community. The community represents a collective effort to educate America on who Sikhs are and what they believe in by sharing their personal stories and narratives.
Sikhs living in the US are often subjected to discrimination, prejudice and verbal and physical abuse. Their long beards and turbans make them a target as they are more visible than other minority groups. For a Sikh, the turban represents their religious commitment to justice, tolerance and equality. However, it’s often used as a target for unjust treatment as they are frequently perceived as a sign of religious extremism or terrorism. Post 9/11, hate crimes directed towards Sikhs have intensified as hostility towards ethnic minority groups has heightened.
Earlier this year, a 39-year-old Sikh man originally from Punjab was shot during an altercation with a man who approached him whilst he was working on his car in the driveway of his home in Seattle, Washington. The victim told the Police the man shouted at him to “go back to your country.”
The ad is scheduled to run during select times in the US on mainstream channels CNN and Fox News, as well as TV channels in Fresno, California. California is home to the largest population of Sikhs in the US and has also recorded cases of hate crimes in the past.